In recent years, mental health has begun to take more of a forefront within our community. The government states that 1 in 4 of us will suffer from some form of mental health issue in our lives. The importance of mental health issues cannot be understated; the medical community endeavours to provide mental health support in the same way that they deal with physical ailments.
Mental health can rear its head in a multitude of ways, e.g. feeling down without explanation, feeling defeated and just generally not feeling good enough. It can also affect personal hygiene, as people struggle to find a reason to do simple tasks such as brush their teeth, wash their hands or even brush their hair.
Recently, a client was referred to me due to struggling with confidence. During our first conversation, I quickly identified that his lack of confidence stemmed from poor mental health. He described himself as feeling down all the time with no way of explaining why. Further discussions revealed that he was also struggling with feelings of stress and hopelessness, and identified that on some days he is so lacking in motivation that he is unable to leave the house.
Together we worked on active listening and suggested exploration of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help deal with some of his issues and to help build his confidence so that he would be able to talk about his issues with family and friends. Sometimes we need to build confidence to talk to our nearest and dearest about what the issue is.
If you are worried about your own mental health or the mental health of a friend – reach out! Talk to someone you trust; this may be all the help you require to get you back on track and feeling like yourself again. You can speak to your doctor, self-refer for counselling or seek out alternative support.
REACH has worked with a number of people with mental health concerns. If you would like to work with an independent advocate for any reason, please call REACH on 01642 687701.
Written by Liam Twizell, REACH Advocate